Board Election

Participation on the ONA Board of Directors is a unique opportunity for digital professionals to guide the world’s largest organization of digital journalists in shaping the future of media and building a stronger industry. Board participation is a chance to grow personally and professionally, and to develop skills, experience and connections with a team of other passionate and motivated professionals.

There are a total of 16 seats on the ONA Board; one is an appointed, non-voting student representative. Eight members are in the middle of their terms and not up for re-election. The other eight directors are at the end of their two-year terms or appointments, including the student appointee which will be appointed later this year. There are two seats appointed by the board this year and five open seats for the current election.

Election process

The 2020 ONA Board election was open Sept. 10-26, 2019. ONA members as of Sept. 8 were be eligible to cast ballots.

  1. Study up on the candidate slate, which was announced on Aug. 30.
    See the Candidates
  2. Log into the ONA member portal and find your unique election passcode, which is only available beginning Sept. 10.
  3. Visit the ONA eBallot system and log in using your passcode to claim your ballot.

In 2017, the ONA Board of Directors appointed one non-voting Student Representative to the Board for a two-year term which started on Jan. 1, 2018. More details about the selection of the student representative can be found here.

Full timeline of process

From nominations to final results, the election process lasts approximately three months. Note that some dates are subject to change:

Aug. 6, 2019: Board nominations opened
Aug. 20, 2019: Board nominations closed
Aug. 30, 2019: Board slate announced
Sept. 10, 2019: Board voting will open
Sept. 12, 2019: Candidate forum to be held at ONA19
Sept. 26, 2019: Board voting closes; winners notified
Oct. 3, 2019: Winners will be announced
January 1, 2019: New terms begin

How to run for the board

Two forms must be submitted to complete candidacy for the ONA Board. The 2019 opening of nominations opened on August 6, 2019.

  1. Ensure you’re a member of ONA in good standing. Confirm your membership status or renew your membership or join ONA here.
  2. Review the nominee criteria and responsibilities required of board members, and have an understanding of ONA’s mission.
  3. Ask another ONA member to nominate you using the nomination form.
  4. Complete the candidate form.

Note: Current members of the Board of Directors running for reelection are required to complete the candidate form only

Nominations review process

The Governance Committee, led by a former or current board member, will screen candidates and present a slate of eligible candidates to the current board for its approval. It is the responsibility of the Governance Committee to present a slate that reflects a diversity of interests in the make-up of the board. The committee will recommend candidates who have thoughtfully and thoroughly answered questions in the candidate form and most closely align with the criteria for board membership.

Once the slate has been reviewed, the nominees will be notified by the Governance Committee Chair and announced to the ONA membership. A page listing nominees will be posted on, along with their photos, bios, stated qualifications and statement on why ONA membership should vote for you as submitted during the nomination process.

Nominees will be given two weeks to reach out to ONA members via social media or other communications platforms. They are welcome to include any relevant links for posting with their candidate profile on

Previous elections